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DeBoer turned down offer from rival team, chose Vegas instead

Thanks, but no thanks!

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In case you missed the news yesterday, the Vegas Golden Knights announced, somewhat out of the blue, that they fired head coach Gerard Gallant and assistant coach Mike Kelly. 

Taking Gallant’s place behind the Vegas bench will be former San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer. Seriously? The former coach of the team’s biggest rival? Seriously.

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Suffice it to say, this news sent shockwaves through the entire NHL. 

Not only is Gallant one of the most respected and well-liked coaches in the entire NHL, the Golden Knights are just three points back of the Pacific Division lead. There’s no denying the fact that the team can be better, but… this isn’t a team in peril like other teams who have made coaching changes this season. DeBoer’s firing in San Jose made perfect sense. Ditto for Peter Laviolette with the Nashville Predators and Mike Babcock with the Toronto Maple Leafs. But… Gallant? Odd.

In any case, Gallant is out and DeBoer is in for the Golden Knights, but NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports that Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill did his absolute best to lure DeBoer behind his team’s bench.

Check out this little tidbit from Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet:

Like DeBoer and Hynes, who were each unemployed fewer than 40 days, Gallant will have his suitors. Seattle, for one. Jim Nill pursued him hard in Dallas, although Rick Bowness has Dallas going strong — the Stars finished a season sweep of Colorado on Tuesday night. Gallant’s got a long history with Steve Yzerman, too, but there’s no predicting what he’ll do. (There are mixed reviews on his French.) Bottom line is, people respect his work. That’s two Bizarro World firings for him.

Interesting. Like Friedman says, the Stars have interim head coach Rick Bowness behind the bench and he’s actually done an admirable job in the short time that he’s been in charge. With the rate that respected and qualified coaches are being dismissed these days, why not wait until the offseason to make a move? 

For the full article from Friedman, be sure to click the link below: